Make this year’s holiday season one to remember! From the Winter Festival of Lights to the Annual Poinsettia Show, experience the magic of the holidays at one of the many events happening in and around Niagara this season. There’s no place quite like this idyllic part of Canada, full of historical towns, vineyards, top-notch eateries, unique shops and, of course, the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. It’s a wonderful place to spend Christmas, if not only for the picturesque townscapes and countryside, then for the cool winter festivities planned all around.

Here’s a roundup of some of the many amazing events and holiday activities that take place in Niagara over the course of the festive season, from the annual Christmas lights in Welland to the Christmas bazaars in St. Catharines.

Holiday Markets

Looking for some great Christmas bazaars in St. Catharines and area? Some annual favourites include the Black Friday Weekend Merry & Bright Holiday Market at Pen Centre. For some earlier shopping, check out the Mulberry Street Craft Company’s Christmas Craft Market in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Once the rink opens up, you’ll be able to follow up your shopping with a session of outdoor ice skating at Niagara-on-the-Lake at the ice rink in the Gardens at Pillar and Post.

Feasts for the People

Niagara residents can tuck into the memorial Spirit of Christmas Dinner hosted by the De Divitiis family, an annual feast that’s free of charge for those in need of a hot meal or those who are just feeling lonely and displaced during the holiday season. The event relies on the help of local volunteers.

On Christmas Eve, the Niagara Worship Centre also hosts its annual Christmas Eve Dinner & Gift Giveaway for individuals and families who need a bit of help this season. You can join in for the plated dinner or arrange to donate funds, food, supplies and gifts with the church. There will be a formal Christmas Eve religious service for those in attendance.

Romantic & Nostalgic Tours

Join Niagara’s Candlelight Stroll, a candlelit tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Heritage District complete with holiday carols and seasonal entertainment at each stop. Part of Christmas in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Ultimate Christmas Village celebrations, this tour is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. A nightly light spectacular at Horseshoe Falls is followed by the Hot Chocolate Tour—a walking tour of local shops each featuring a special hot chocolate beverage.

Don’t forget to catch the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Parade! This holiday celebration in motion will wind its way through the streets of Old Town. If you want to take part in the parade, get your application in before the end of November. Next, pop over to Welland for a self-guided tour of the town’s residential Welland Winter Lights and vote for your favourite! Prizes will be given to entrants with the most votes in a number of categories.

Holiday Fun Indoors

Come in from the cold and share some tropical air with the flowers at Niagara Parks’ Annual Poinsettia Show! More than 2,000 plants are on show here every year, and they’re all dressed up for the holidays with baubles, beads and lights. Staff say the best time to take a walk in the flowers is after sunset.

For some more themed indoor activity, check out the annual Rotary House Holiday Tour of six well-appointed homes. Guests enjoy free wine tastings from local wineries, take in the historical sights and join a discounted luncheon with their tour ticket. The proceeds from this event go to charity.

The Sparkling Holiday-Lit Falls

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Ultimate Christmas Village celebrations run for most of the snowy season, including the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls. The annual light show illuminates the frozen landscape of the falls with literally millions of twinkling lights. Every evening, a 5-minute light show takes place at Horseshoe Falls that you don’t want to miss out on. These repeat on the hour at certain times of the night.

Finally, New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls features a spectacular light show, fireworks, drinks and dining, plus live entertainment from talented Canadian musicians. Get yourself to Queen Victoria Park to join in the festivities!

Christmas in Niagara

There are so many things to do in the Niagara region for Christmas! This is the perfect place to be if you need distracting from the cold weather on a regular basis, or even if you just want to plan one or two big nights out during the festive season. Christmas in Niagara Falls, Canada is truly a spectacle to behold, so if you’re from out of town and looking for a wintery Christmas vacation, by all means visit us! Book one of the region’s cozy historical hotel rooms and follow the Hot Chocolate Trail while listening to the seasonal sounds of carollers and taking in the holiday light shows. You’ll never forget this Christmas!

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